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The Truth

NPG Records

I thought I had emptied the gun with Emancipation and I wouldn’t have to record for a while, but some new things came up that are all acoustic.

Prince’s fans had long been hoping he would release an acoustic album. The Truth was recorded in 1996 at Paisley Park Studios and was intended to be released by EMI Records in 1997 as a stand-alone album.

Due to EMI’s bankruptcy that year, it was immediately decided for The Truth would receive a limited commercial release, these plans were also abandoned as it was instead packaged as a companion CD to the Crystal Ball triple disk set in 1998 and distributed under Prince’s own label NPG Records, credited to and released as Prince under the name of The Artist Formally Known As Prince ( Prince love symbol).

The song Comeback was written to lament the passing of his son Amiir in October 1996 – the track was later played at Prince’s own funeral on 23 April 2016. The Truth album will be reissued by Sony Legacy, on 12 June 2021, as a special Record Store Day release as a vinyl LP in a run limited to 13,000 copies.

Prince | The Truth
Photography by Bob Berg


All Instruments
The Artist Formally Known As Prince
Bass Guitar
Rhonda Smith
Mike Scott Fascination
Kirky Johnson
Kathy Dyson


The Artist Formally Known As Prince
NPG Records
NPG Records
Steve Parke
23 years, 1 months ago on 21 March 1998
12 June 2021
Running Time
US Chart Peak
64 (with Crystal Ball)
UK Chart Peak
Not charted
Prince Album
Orig. Format


  1. The Truth (3:34) 1
  2. Don't Play Me (2:47)
  3. Circle Of Amour (4:43)
  4. 3rd Eye (4:53)
  5. Dionne (3:13)
  6. Man In A Uniform (3:07) 2
  7. Animal Kingdom (4:00) 2
  8. The Other Side Of The Pillow (3:20)
  9. Fascination (4:55)
  10. One Of Your Tears (3:26)
  11. Comeback (1:59)
  12. Welcome 2 The Dawn (3:17)

1 Released as a single.
2 Co-written with Rhonda Smith.

Singles from The Truth

The Truth single from The Truth, NPG Records (1997)

The Truth

NPG Records

14 February 1997
US Chart Peak
UK Chart Peak
  1. The Truth (3:32)
  2. Don't Play Me (2:50)

The Truth – review

Countless fans had been longing for Prince to make an acoustic album and out of the back of the Emancipation recording sessions in 1996 their wishes no longer fell on deaf ears. Prince obliged with The Truth, a 12 track acoustic album tacked on to the back of the Crystal Ball set, maybe due to concerns it was unable to stand on its own feet in the commercial market. Even I admit it took 9 years for me to warm to The Truth, then all of a sudden it struck me like man’s discovery of fire and this Prince epiphany is now one of my personal favorite Prince albums. Don’t Play Me is a track laced with real, heart-felt lyrics and enjoyed plenty of airing during the One Nite Alone Tour in 2002. There is pure ballad on this album and despite it being a stripped down set The Truth is not entirely an acoustic only set and enjoys Prince’s trademark production flare. There are stand-out tracks aplenty; The Truth, 3rd Eye, Animal Kingdom, One Of Your Tears, Come Back and the great Welcome 2 The Dawn. The album’s highlight is the fantastic Fascination. The Truth is delightfully honest simplicity, smart lyrics, and a showcase ain’t Prince a clever boy. Ain’t that The Truth!

The Truth

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